SCERS II

SCERS II is a new Retirement Plan for eligible City of Seattle employees hired on January 1, 2017 or later.

Q. What's changing with SCERS Plan 2?  

Comparison Chart* (scroll to bottom of page to see the chart)

Both SCERS 1 and SCERS 2 essentially work the same way and many provisions between the two plans are the same. This table summarizes the most significant differences between SCERS Plan 1 and SCERS Plan 2.  

This information is a guide to be used in conjunction with the Seattle Municipal Code, Section 4.36. The rules governing member retirement benefits are contained in the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC). If there are any conflicts between what is written in this document and what is contained in the code, the applicable code will govern.  

Links to applicable Seattle Municipal Codes (SMC)  

SMC 4.36.605 - SCERS I Retirement Benefits Designated  

SMC 4.36.608 - SCERS II Retirement Benefits Designated  

Q. Why is the City moving to SCERS Plan 2 for new employees?  

A. SCERS II will help ensure a healthy retirement fund for City of Seattle retirees for years to come. SCERS Plan 2 is part of a competitive benefits package that stacks up against national and regional averages.   

For additional background, see this January 8, 2016 Seattle Times article, Seattle to change city employee retirement plan in 2017.  

Q. How will SCERS Plan 2 impact me?  

A. Existing members hired and enrolled before January 1, 2017 will continue in SCERS 1.

New members with a hire date of January 1, 2017 or later will be enrolled in SCERS Plan 2, unless they have service time eligible for redeposit in SCERS Plan 1. 

After January 1, 2017, exempt or eligible temporary employees whose eligibility date is before January 1, 2017 will be enrolled in SCERS Plan 1 should they elect to join the Retirement System. They will then have the option to switch to SCERS Plan 2 within 60 days. Those who make the permanent election to switch will forfeit the right to purchase retirement service credit earned before their election to join SCERS.  

After January 1, 2017, former SCERS Plan 1 members who withdrew their contributions, returned to City employment, and are eligible to redeposit will be re-enrolled in SCERS Plan 1 with the option to switch to SCERS Plan 2 within 60 days. Those who make the permanent election to switch will forfeit the right to redeposit retirement service credit earned in SCERS Plan 1.  

SCERS Plan 2 Election Form will be available January 1, 2017.  

Q. Is it possible for employees in SCERS Plan 1 to opt into joining SCERS Plan 2?  

A. No. Employees currently participating in SCERS Plan 1 must continue in SCERS Plan 1.  

Q. What if I'm an exempt employee with a hire date before January 1, 2017 who hasn't joined the Retirement System as of year-end 2016?  

A. Should you elect to join the Retirement System January 1, 2017 or later, you will be enrolled in SCERS Plan 1. You will then have the option to switch to SCERS Plan 2 within 60 days. See the SCERS Plan 2 Election Form .  

Q. What are next steps for implementing SCERS Plan 2?  

A. The Retirement Office will summarize SCERS Plan 2 benefits on its website as a supplement to the existing Retirement Handbook and Frequently Asked Questions. New eligible employees will be enrolled in SCERS Plan 2 January 1, 2017 and later.

SCERS Plan 2 FAQ

Comparison chart showing SCERS I and SCERS II

 Updated November 30, 2016